Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baked Apples a la Americus Garden Inn

There are certain aromas that bring you back to your childhood. I remember the Cream Puff Bakery in my hometown that made the most delicious chocolate cheese cake. There aren't many stand alone bakeries anymore, are there? Anyway, there is nothing like the scent of freshly baked goodies. That includes freshly baked apples with cinnamon.This morning, here at the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast, I made baked apples. When I was a kid, I remember my Mom made baked apples when she was on Weight Watchers. I believe she used cherry flavored soda to add sweetness to the apples. These days, I make several different versions of baked apples. Sometimes, I do it the old-fashioned way. I bake them for almost an hour and baste them every few minutes. Today, I did it the quick and easy way in the microwave. If you are interested, follow along as I show you exactly what I did. The original recipe is on our website at just go to the "recipe" page and you'll find it. What I did this morning is a variation. I started off with some beautiful rome apples.
You will need a melon baller and a small sharp knife.
You will also need some butter, cinnamon and splenda or sugar.
I really like raisins with baked apples and when I bake them in the oven, I always fill them with raisins which I have soaked in orange juice. For this version, I used dried cranberries that I plumped in hot water. Place the desired amount of cranberries (or raisins) in a cup or bowl.
Pour some hot water over the cranberries or raisins (enough water to cover them) then cover the dish with plastic wrap. Let is sit for about 5 minutes.
Just drain the liquid and they are ready.
Scrub your apples to get the wax off. Using the melon baller, scoop out the stem.
Here is the apple with the stem scooped out.
Take another scoop with the melon baller and you'll see the seeds.
One more scoop should be perfect. You want to leave the bottom intact. Place the apple in a microwaveable dish.
Now, take your knife and carefully start creating a "waist" in the middle of the apple.

You don't want to cut too deeply. You just want to allow some room for expansion when the apple bakes in the microwave.
I always do this step when I bake apples in the oven, too.
Pour one envelope of Splenda into the apple (you can use up to 1 TBS sugar, brown sugar or honey instead, if you prefer).
Put a pat of butter into the apple. I used about 1 tsp of real butter. The original recipe calls for 1 TBS per apple. You really don't need that much.
Sprinkle the apple with some cinnamon.
Cover the dish with wax paper.
Microwave on high for about 2 - 3 minutes. Check after 2 minutes to see if the apple is soft to the touch. You will have an apple with lots of liquid around it in the bowl.
Spoon the liquid into the apple.
Spoon the cranberries into the apple.
To make the apple easy to eat and eye-appealing, use kitchen shears to cut the apple on either side, dividing it in half (but leave the bottom intact.)
Now, cut each half into 3 pieces and you have a beautiful baked apple ready to eat.
Wish you had been here for me to make this for you personally. But, I'll be with you in your kitchen when you try this recipe. Let me know how yours comes out.

Thank you for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog. We hope you'll visit us again soon, virtually or in person!


Anonymous said...

I love me a baked apple at this time of the year- and this was incredibly easy to do!

Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast said...

Thank you for trying my recipe! I just made baked apples yesterday, as the fresh apples of all varieties are just coming in.